Flamengo vs Botafogo
Competition: Brazil Serie A
Date: 22 July 2018
Kick-off: 00:00 CET
Football can be… funny. In the first half against Sao Paulo at home midweek, Flamengo got… scared several times, seeing the visitors miss good chances to take the lead. Ironically, at the end of the first half, it was Fla who had a header on the horizontal post, the closest any team came to scoring in the first 45 minutes. At the very start of the second half, Sao Paulo scored in what was probably their only real chance in the second part. Flamengo, despite creating 4-5 good, if not “great” chances, finished the game without a goal. “Weird” game, entertaining game, with more than 55,000 football fans at Maracana. Newly-signed Uribe played for about 35 minutes, and missed two great chances. Guerrero played as well, he got the “all clear” just a few hours before kick-off. He fought and fought, but his finishes left a lot to be desired. Diego was very active, at least two of his wonderful passes should have led to goals, but… I repeat, Fla’s finishes left an awful lot to be desired. The Rio de Janeiro giants remain leaders, but their gap to second-placed Sao Paulo is down to a single point.
If you look at the score alone, that 2-0, you are left with the impression that Botafogo were beaten “easily” by Corinthians midweek in Sao Paulo, but if you watched the game or at least the highlights, you know that the score is extremely harsh to the Rio de Janeiro side. They created chances throughout the game (something that can’t be written about Corinthians), and especially in the last 15 minutes they missed a crazy number of awesome chances to score, all because Corinthians’ goalkeeper, Cássio, had a series of good saves, including an absolutely insane one, double one, in the 85th minute, a double save worthy of being included in highlights at the end of the season. Botafogo lost, but they definitely left some very good impressions, something to build in as they are about to face leaders Flamengo.
Previous five matches:
Flamengo vs Sao Paulo 0-1
Palmeiras vs Flamengo 1-1
Flamengo vs Parana 2-0
Fluminense vs Flamengo 0-2
Flamengo vs Corinthians 1-0
Corinthians vs Botafogo 2-0
Botafogo vs Atletico Paranaense 2-0
Bahia vs Botafogo 3-3
Botafogo vs Ceara 0-0
Vasco da Gama vs Botafogo 1-2
Flamengo’s next game is at Santos, on Wednesday. A day later, Botafogo will be hosting Chapecoense (both Brazil Série A matches).
Flamengo vs Botafogo: Head to head Stats
Botafogo have won just one of their last 10 matches against Flamengo as visitors. Fla have won six, and three matches have ended in a draw.
Flamengo vs Botafogo: Prediction
Without overlooking how many chances Botafogo created at Corinthians midweek, I’m still backing Flamengo to win the game.
Flamengo vs Botafogo: Betting Tips
Fla’s victory pays 1.55. I expect goals, at least three. “Over 2.5” pays an awesome 2.30, and combined with Fla’s win it goes up to 2.87. The hosts can only look better than midweek, and despite Botafogo’s good performance at Corinthians, right now they are not at Sao Paulo’s (the team that beat Flamengo on Wednesday) level.